Celtics’ Jaylen Brown admits he ‘was devastated’ by Team USA’s World Cup failure
Jaylen Brown put some extra work this summer playing for Team USA, committing six weeks of his summer to bond with fellow Boston Celtics teammates Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, and Jayson Tatum — though he wound up devastated by finishing seventh in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the lowest finish ever by a U.S. team in a major international tournament.
“I wanted to win that so badly,” Brown told Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report. “It would have been good for me.”
Brown showed an improved skill set, but the team didn’t have enough to contend after losing to France in the quarterfinals, following that with a loss to Serbia in the consolation round, one that would guarantee that iteration of Team USA as one in the wall of shame.
“I was devastated,” said Brown, admitting he spent the night after the first defeat to France awake in his hotel room, replaying the game in his head.
Context, however, is important in this case. Team USA was coming off a wave of decommitments from the squad, with more than half of the 20 names on the list choosing to forgo that opportunity and wait for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics instead,
Yet the experience and extra time with his Celtics teammates has helped his game tremendously, bouncing back from a tough third year in the league to a prosperous 20-point-per-game season alongside Walker and Tatum, who also top that mark.
Brown was able to channel some of those nightmares and turn them into fuel, likely bound for a potential All-Star bid once players, coaches, and the media resume their voting in the coming weeks.